Saturday Top 5: Movie Remakes

The Bottom 3 from yesterday featured the worst remade movies. Today, I will be looking at my 5 favorite remade movies.

Honorable Mention:

Shaft 2000 – I can’t say that when it comes to “Blacksploitation”, I am a purist. Shaft took a pretty good action film from 1971 with some great music and modernized it a bit. But, it was a good thing they left the music in it! It was definitely worth the time and effort needed to make a movie.

#5. Dawn of the Dead 2004 – I enjoy a good zombie flick occasionally. This movie took a classic horror film from 1978, modernized it a bit, and brought a little life and action. Either version is watchable, but in this case, the remake is actually a better film and stands on its own.

#4. The Man Who Knew too Much 1956 – In 1934 Alfred Hitchcock directed “The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)”. Though it was not a bad film, it suffered from budget issues, writing, and a lack of talent on the acting side. In 1956, Al got a second chance at this movie and turned it from a good movie (1934) to a classic gem. The biggest differences were Hitchcock’s experience and expanded knowledge base, but most importantly, the talent. Doris Day and James Stewart brought this movie and the story to life. The 1956 version is still very watchable.

#3. The Wizard of Oz 1939 – This classic movie was remade from the 1925 version which had some plot differences and was actually a remake from a 1910 encarnation which was a silent film version of a stage musical from 1902. Of course, nobody really knows much about the silent film, but at the time it was apparently pretty big. The classic we all know was very expensive to film, the largest budget of its time. It was huge. To this day, it is watchable. But, there is something about it. When you watch it, it comes across as a little dark and mysterious.

#2 King Kong 2005 – This remake, I believe, was actually needed. The sound and visual CGI effects have advanced to the point where it’s actually difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is computer generated. Ignoring the 76 remake which make the bottom 3, this movie improved on the original in bringing Kong to a more personable and almost human quality. You actually start to like this creature. Also, the added comedic elements were enjoyable. The action scenes, for the most part, were well thought out and thrilling. As for the dramatic points, you definitely had time to get to know the characters including the heroine and the villain, so the movie was more than a visual experience.

#1. The Dark Knight (Batman) – This total reworking of the Batman movie from 1989 starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was excellent. It had a couple snags, but overall it accomplished what it set out to accomplish. The movie was dark, the acting was superb and it transformed the characters from cartoonish to gritty and human. It had some very heavy moments that were not in the 1989 film, and the Joker was cast in a more evil, cold-hearted, and murderous role than the 1989 version. Of course, the Joker stole the show this time around. The effects and action far surpassed the movie from less than 20 years ago. Also, due to Batman Begins, and the amount of time spent on character development, you really came to know all the characters involved. As an action movie, it was almost perfect. As a comic hero movie, it WAS perfect. As a remake, it took a good movie and made it great.

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